Still struggling to get onto top of your fitness regimen? Us too, which is why were deciding to up the ante and hit up these HIIT classes (see what we did there?)…


HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, which describes a workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or complete rest. The benefit of this type of workout is that you not only burn more fat but you also increase your metabolism, lose weight not muscle and get fitter faster.

What is it? The Ultimate Fitness Firster (aka TUFF), a class designed by a UAE-based trainer, is a freestyle workout that combines weight training with high intensity cardio. The variation between weights and heart-pounding cardio is designed to decrease body weight and increase lean muscle tissue. Each class is different, though one thing that never changes is the intensity, which is hardcore at all times.

Verdict: Excuse the pun but this class is tough. While it only lasts 45 minutes it is said you can burn up to 800 calories per class. We managed only 250 but we were thoroughly exhausted.

The routine allows you to take the workout up or down a notch depending on your level of fitness. Either way it pushes you to the limits. It’s easy to see how you can not only lose weight but also get fit very fast from TUFF.

The Details: Dhs100 for non-members (includes day access to the gym). Free for Fitness First members.

Location: TUFF is available at all Fitness First clubs at various times throughout the day.

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What is it? The much-talked about American craze, which is usually available only on DVD, has come to Dubai. Insanity is an equipment-free (you use your body weight) cardio class targeting the entire body with lengthy periods of high-intensity exercise and very short cool downs.

Instructor Tracy – currently the only Insanity instructor in the region – takes you through a warm up (a workout in itself) and then three different blocks of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), with each one targeting a different element of fitness.

All of these contain three sets broken up by a siren (which very often doesn’t seem to come quickly enough). What’s worse though, is the high-powered 60-seconds of heart-pumping exercises that round off each set.

Verdict: Just check out the video of team EW trying the class and you will get the picture. It’s intense to the extreme. Just when you get your breath back it’s time to push yourself to the limits again. No two classes are ever the same, so there’s no chance you will get get bored or too familiar with a routine, which means you body is constantly being pushed.

The Details: Dhs60 for non-members and Dhs50 for FitLab members. Classes run on Sunday 7.05pm (50 min), Monday 8.45am (50 min), and Thursday 10am (50 min).

Location: FitLab, Emirates Golf Club.

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FAST Athletic Training 

What is it? FAST offers three different daily training programmes and sessions each with different coach to client ratios. For a great HIIT class that would appeal for all abilities, the Group Personal Training session is recommended. It’s a dynamic class that focuses on weight training, cardio and plyo workouts. It exposes you to different strength-based exercises as well as conditioning circuits.

Verdict: While you may be in a class the trainer doesn’t miss a beat, checking your from is correct and ensuring you aren’t slacking off. What was also good was how attentive they are to individual issues. For example they will tailor workouts according to injuries and abilities, ensuring you get the most affective workout as possible.

The Details: Group Personal Training sessions take place in block sessions – you can opt in at whatever time suits you within the time block and train for as little or as long as you can. Drop-in rates start from Dhs80 to Dhs100.

Location: City Tower 2 Car Park, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai.

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Obstacle Race Training

Obstacle Race Training talise

Online Editor Alexandria is utterly wiped out after her Obstacle Race Training

What is it? Ex-British Military trainer, Barrie puts you through a variety of exercises to get you ready for any of Dubai’s notorious obstacle events. The fast-paced circuits replicate challenges that you can expect from an obstacle race such as dragging, carrying, jumping and sprinting. The all-body workout is great for fat loss, cardiovascular improvements and overall strength.

Verdict: We’re no strangers to Barrie, having experienced some of his bootcamps in the past, so we knew it was going to be tough… and boy, was it. As well as hardcore circuit training (which had us jumping up on boxes, battling ropes, running with 10kg weights and much more), Barrie would interrupt the routine with death runs (intense running shuttles) and high-burst races up and down stairs. As much as we might have felt like we would give up, Barrie’s reassuring attitude saw us through to the end. We have to admit while it was tough, we felt energised after the class –hard not to when working out on a rooftop with the Dubai’s gorgeous skyline as a backdrop.

Details: Dhs65 for non-members and free for Talise members. The class runs every Tuesday from 6.45am to 7.30am.

Location: Talise Fitness, Emirates Towers.

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What is it? BURN is a 45-minute HIIT group training workout designed to shape, tone and tighten every muscle in your body and ramp up your fitness fast. What makes this different from other HIIT classes is that the trainers use treadmills and rowing machines in their interval-based cardio workouts. These are mixed with strength exercises using the TRX Suspension Trainer and dumbbells.

Verdict: While is it tailored to suit everyone at all levels, everyone pushes themselves to the max. The circuits work with four people at each station, for example four people on the treadmill, four on the rowing machine, four on weights and four on the TRX. You then have to complete a set amount of interval workouts at each station for a set amount of time. You’re heart will be racing and time will seem to have slowed to a standstill with one minute feeling more like an hour, especially when completing the uphill sprints on the treadmill (by far the hardest element). BURN is definitely a workout that will make you a lean, mean fighting machine in no time.

Details: Dhs99 for a single session; Dhs495 for a pack of five classes; Dhs890 for a pack of 10 classes; Dhs1,580 for a pack of 20 classes; Dhs2,070 for a pack of 30 classes and Dhs2,950 for a pack of 50 classes. Classes run every day. Morning classes run Sunday to Thursday at 7am (also at 8.30am on Monday and Wednesday). Friday 9am. Evening classes are 7pm on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday as well as 8pm Monday and Wednesday.

Location: BURN classes are run by 1SIX8, who have a studio in Warehouse Gym, Al Quoz.


Main image: Getty